Privacy & Confidential Policy
Arohanui Hospice promotes and protects individual privacy as set out by the Privacy Act (1993) and the Health information Code (1994)
The Director Clinical Services, with the support of the Chief Executive is the designated Arohanui Hospice Privacy Officer (as per the Privacy Act 1993) and has overall responsibility for privacy policies as well as direct responsibility for complex privacy issues.
Clinical Services – Part A
Health and Disability Sector Standard 1.4: Consumer/kiritaki confidentiality is maintained at all times.
- Arohanui Hospice will collect all relevant personal health information to ensure our patients receive the best possible care and treatment.
- Statistical information, required to meet the contractual obligations of the contract for service with the Ministry of Health and District Health Boards will be collected by Arohanui Hospice personnel for lawful purposes and connected to the activities of this organisation only.
- The role of Privacy Officers will be responsible for ensuring that education is provided for all personnel regarding privacy and safety of information collected and to investigate any alleged breaches of privacy facilitating a fair, simple and efficient resolution of complaints.
- Privacy issues will be reviewed at the Senior Leadership & Management Team (SLMT) meeting as they arise. A privacy report is tabled annually to SLMT.
- All complaints will be directed as per the Complaints Policy and Procedure utilising the appropriate process and documentation.
- All Arohanui Hospice patients (past and present)
- All patient health records and documents (this includes written information, photographs and recordings)
- All staff, including volunteers
- To students approved for clinical placements within Arohanui Hospice
As per Guidelines Health Information Privacy Code 1994
Purpose of Collection: (see Health Information Privacy Code 1994 – Rule 1)
Arohanui Hospice will only collect health information necessary for the organisation to provide comprehensive care effectively and efficiently.
Reporting to the Ministry of Health and MidCentral DHB is a contractual requirement; statistical data is reported and this is agreed to by patients when completing the Consent Form (SCPS-FORM-132-2)
- Source of Information: (see Health Information Privacy Code 1994 – Rule 2)
Information for clinical records will only be collected from the patient or their nominated representative. If it has not come from the patient this is to be documented and at an appropriate time this information is to be reviewed with the patient to ensure it is correct.
- Collection of Information: (see Health Information Privacy Code 1994 – Rule 3)
Patients and/or their representative must be informed that information is being collected, for the intended purpose, and any other intended or possible recipients of this information.
Patients are also informed of their right to have access to, and correction of, the health information collected.
- Manner of Collection: (see Health Information Privacy Code 1994 – Rule 4)
Health information will be collected in a sensitive manner that will not intrude to an unreasonable extent on the patient’s personal affairs. It will not be collected in a means that is unlawful or unfair.
Storage and Security: (see Health Information Privacy Code 1994 – Rule 5)
All information collected will be protected against unauthorised access, loss or misuse.
Secure transportation of notes away from the hospice requires that the notes are to be transported in a secure bag/container and not visible in the car when not in use. If the clinical records are removed from the filing cabinet an ‘OUT’ card must be completed as a record of tracking notes.
Where documents containing health information are not to be kept, the document is disposed of in a manner that preserves the privacy of the patient.
Access to Health Information: (see Health Information Privacy Code 1994 – Rule 6)
Patients are able to access their health information at their request. The clinical record will be stored in such a way that it can be readily retrieved if requested by the patient and/or patient’s representative. All hard copy files will indicate that an electronic file exists.
Correction of Health Information: (see Health Information Privacy Code 1994 – Rule 7)
Patients can correct information collected by this organisation, however the information being corrected cannot be removed from the record but a written statement by the patient making the correction will be attached to the document, in such a way that it will be read with the information being corrected.
Accuracy: (see Health Information Privacy Code 1994 – Rule 8)
In an effort to keep information accurate, up to date, complete, relevant and not misleading, previously collected information will be verified on each admission.
Retention of Information: (see Health Information Privacy Code 1994 – Rule 9)
Arohanui Hospice retains patient’s information for a minimum of 10 years.
Limitation on Use of Health Information: (see Health Information Privacy Code 1994 – Rule 10)
Information obtained for one purpose must not be used for any other purpose unless Arohanui Hospice believes on reasonable grounds that:
- Use of information is authorised by the patient and/or patients’ representative.
- Purpose for which the information is to be used is directly related to the purpose in connection with which the information was obtained.This can include a retrospective clinical review of the care the patient received in order to ensure/enhance best practice.
- Source of information is publicly available.
- Use of the information is to lessen a serious or imminent threat to the safety of the patient or the public.
- The information is used in an unidentifiable way, if used for statistical or research purposes.
Limits on Disclosure of Information: (see Health Information Privacy Code 1994 – Rule 11)
Information is not disclosed unless Arohanui Hospice believes on reasonable grounds:
- That disclosure is to the patient and/or patient’s representative.
- That disclosure is authorised by the patient and/or representative.
- That disclosure of the information is one of the purposes in connection with which the information was obtained.
- Source of the information is publicly available
- That the information is general and not contrary to the express request of the patient and/or their representative.
- Information disclosed concerns only the fact of death by an authorised person to the patient’s representative, spouse, partner, next of kin, whanau, close relative or other person who it is reasonable to inform.
- Health information can be released without authorisation from the patient and/or their representative in certain situations.Please refer to Health Information Privacy Code 1994, Rule 11 paragraph 2.
Transmission of information to Patient/Family:
Letters going to patients are posted in blank envelopes or envelopes marked only with a return PO Box number.
It is appropriate to use envelopes with logos on for fundraising letters and other correspondence that does not go to specific patients. If using a window envelope the letter is to be folded so that only the name and address show in the window
Unique Identifiers: (see Health Information Privacy Code 1994 – Rule 12)
Ministry of Health NHI numbers are the assigned unique identifier.